Jungki Min, Tarun Keswani, Nicole A. LaHood, Isabelle R. Lytle, Orlee Marini‐Rapoport, Léna Andrieux, Sunny L. Sneed, Lori L. Edwards, Robert M. Petrovich, Lalith Perera, Anna Pomés, Lars C. Pedersen, Sarita U. Patil, Geoffrey A. Mueller

Design of an Ara h 2 hypoallergen from conformational epitopes

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

AbstractIntroductionAdverse reactions are relatively common during peanut oral immunotherapy. To reduce the risk to the patient, some researchers have proposed modifying the allergen to reduce IgE reactivity, creating a putative hypoallergen. Analysis of recently cloned human IgG from patients treated with peanut immunotherapy suggested that there are three common conformational epitopes for the major peanut allergen Ara h 2. We sought to test if structural information on these epitopes could indicate mutagenesis targets for designing a hypoallergen and evaluated the reduction in IgE binding via immunochemistry and a mouse model of passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA).MethodsX‐ray crystallography characterized the conformational epitopes in detail, followed by mutational analysis of key residues to modify monoclonal antibody (mAb) and serum IgE binding, assessed by ELISA and biolayer interferometry. A designed Ara h 2 hypoallergen was tested for reduced vascularization in mouse PCA experiments using pooled peanut allergic patient serum.ResultsA ternary crystal structure of Ara h 2 in complex with patient antibodies 13T1 and 13T5 was determined. Site‐specific mutants were designed that reduced 13T1, 13T5, and 22S1 mAbs binding by orders of magnitude. By combining designed mutations from the three major conformational bins, a hexamutant (Ara h 2 E46R, E89R, E97R, E114R, Q146A, R147E) was created that reduced IgE binding in serum from allergic patients. Further, in the PCA model where mice were primed with peanut allergic patient serum, reactivity upon allergen challenge was significantly decreased using the hexamutant.ConclusionThese studies demonstrate that prior knowledge of common conformational epitopes can be used to engineer reduced IgE reactivity, an important first step in hypoallergen design.

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